Fields barren for another year

The majority of resettled farmers here have been unable to plant crops this farming season, forcing NGOs to continue to provide food handouts within the communities.

A survey conducted by this paper last week revealed that most resettled farmers were relying on food handouts from NGOs operating in the district. Those interviewed said they had failed to plant their fields as they could not raise enough money to purchase seed or fertiliser.

“I have been trying to do serious farming, but for the past three years I have not been producing meaningful products. There are not enough inputs and I do not have money to buy seed and chemicals, so this season I have decided not to plant anything,” said one resettled farmer.

Others interviewed said they were given portions of land with poor quality soil. They said that land reform was no more than a political gimmick used by Zanu (PF) to fulfil its political agenda.

“Top Zanu (PF) officials, senior army members and police officers are the beneficiaries of this programme because they grabbed equipment from white farmers and allocated themselves fertile portions of land.

They are also at the forefront of distributing inputs and they have also benefited from the farm mechanization programme. As resettled farmers we are poor, and I don’t think that I will be able to plant this season because I do not have the funds required to till the land,” said another local farmer.

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